Asian session: The dollar weakened
China’s yuan strengthened beyond 6.5 per dollar for the first time since 1993, supported by speculation the central bank will allow appreciation to help tame the fastest inflation in more than two years.
The yuan strengthened 0.17 percent to 6.4907 per dollar as of 2:50 p.m. in Shanghai, earlier touching a 17-year high of 6.4898, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. It’s set for a 0.9 percent monthly advance, the best performance of 2011.
The People’s Bank of China set the yuan’s reference rate at 6.4990 per dollar, the strongest level since July 2005. The currency is allowed to trade up to 0.5 percent on either side of the official rate.
The dollar weakened this month against all 16 major currencies monitored by Bloomberg as the Fed maintained a near- zero benchmark interest rate and boosted the supply of the U.S. currency by buying Treasuries, a policy known as quantitative easing that is set to end in June.
EUR/USD: the pair bargained in a range $1,4810-$ 1,4850.
GBP/USD: the pair bargained in a range $1,6620-$ 1,6670.
USD/JPY: the pair bargained in range Y81,45-Y81,65.
There is a slew of Eurozone data at 0900GMT. Data includes the release of April business climate indicator, industrial confidence, Apr consumer confidence, Apr flash HICP and EMU Mar unemployment rate.
A heavy US session kicks off at 1230GMT, with the release of the April ISM-NY Business Index data. Also at 1230GMT, March Personal Income, Expenditures data and the Q1 Employment Cost Index data are released. Personal income is expected to rise 0.4% in March, as payrolls rose 216,000, but hourly earnings were flat, and the average workweek held steady at 34.3 hours. PCE is expected to rise 0.5%, as retail sales rose 0.4% and sales were up 0.8% excluding autos. The core PCE price index is forecast to rise 0.1%. The Employment Cost Index is expected to rise by 0.5% in the first quarter after rising 0.4% in each of the last two quarters.